Some would say that selecting a barrel of bourbon is all fun. It is a very enjoyable experience. Going to a barrel warehouse with a master distiller to thief a barrel is a true sensory experience. Even sitting with a group with samples pulled from barrels from a distillery too far away to drive, is a great way to learn about what styles each barrel represents. Not all barrel samples are a taste treat. Finding a barrel that sings is a wonderful way to pick a barrel. And thus, the challenge is finding the barrel that we feel represents our “house” style and is atypical when compared to the commercial versions selected by the master distillers.
Westport Whiskey & Wine’s “house” style relies on great aromatics, from fruit, cream, vanilla and wood spices. The flavor is rich, lush and not astringent. It may be robust and warm, but never harsh. When splashed the flavors should open-up all the more. We believe that the selections below truly represent our house style, and great values, too.
CURRENT SELECTIONS (07.26.21)
It seems that 102 proof really makes the Yellowstone bourbon sing. Scents of orange peel, cherry and spice dominate the complex aroma of this single barrel bourbon. Those aromas carry through to the rich flavor that is supported by a sweet creamy entry through to its warm spicy finish. It is so nicely balanced and mouth filling.
Cinnamon spice and everything nice! Great aroma with hints of toasted oak. It is complex with elements of the woodiness of the barrel, yet spicy, sweet with a bold peppery finish.
Grass Widow Bourbon comes from Two James Spirits, the first distillery to open in Detroit, Michigan since prohibition. With the help of distiller David Pickerell, Grass Widow, named for a regional pre-Prohibition whiskey brand, is a sourced high-rye bourbon mash bill (36% rye, 60% corn, 4% barley) blend that was aged in new oak, then given a finish in ex-Madeira casks.
Aromas of toffee with hints of butterscotch that has hints of cinnamon. It is sweet on entry with a nice vanilla and slight cereal grain note. It is rich in the middle and spicy on the finish. For 119.2 proof, this is really smooth.
Aromas of vanilla, spice with hints of cherry. The entry holds true to the aroma, it is sweet and creamy. It is lush and round on the palate with a toasty woody, slightly tannic, peppery finish. Great with a cube of ice. Would make a great manhattan.
The aroma is the first thing that grabs you. It is fruity with loads of toasted caramel. The flavors of sweet vanilla indicates that this slightly over 6 year bourbon is something special. Vanilla gives way to toasty, spicy flavor, slightly drying yet with a long warm finish.
Weighing in at a hefty 125.6 proof, but it quickly spins off in the glass with a little help. There is a nice, toasted oak aroma with a bit of corn pudding and hints of brown sugar. The entry is sweet and quickly goes to spicy, barrel flavors. A second sip shows the depth with a bit of red fruit, cream, cinnamon, caramel and a smokiness that adds a great overall flavor. This really shines with some water, the sweet, creamy vanilla flavors jump out and it is at once relaxed and easy to drink.
Three Chord is a bourbon from Kentucky, Tennessee & Indiana, that is batched (blended) and aged in Michigan. This selection is a bit over 5 years old and weight is at 117 proof. There is a bit of heat in the initial aroma, which also shows fruit (orange peel), vanilla, hints of brown sugar and toasted oak. Nice sweet entry, with a bold spicy middle and long toasted oak with a bit of pepper.
Grander 14yr Panama Rum, WW&W Single Barrel, 129.2 proof, 750ml $69.99
This 12 year rum spent an additional 2 years in Heaven Hill rye barrels, giving a subtle earthy spice to rich aromas of brown sugar and caramel. A warm entry leads to sweet, smooth barrel tannins with vanilla and a hint of mint on the finish.
MB Roland Dark Fire Bourbon, WW&W Single Barrel, 113.6 proof, 750ml $64.99
MB Roland Distillery is a completely “grain to glass” craft distillery located in Pembroke, Christian Co. KY. Their Dark Fire bourbon is 33% smoked corn, 45% corn, 17% rye and 5% malted barley. This barrel is a little over 5 years old. The corn is smoked for 3-4 days before added to the additional grains to be distilled. The nose greets you with a sweet smoke, orange marmalade and cream. The entry is pleasant with a combination smoke and toasted oak. Starts tart and ends sweet with a long drawn out finish.
Rolling Fork, 8yr Foursquare Rum, Finished 10 months in a Weller Barrel, Single Barrel, WW&W Selection, 103.6 proof, 750ml, $86.99
This was distilled in Barbados by the Foursquare Rum Distillery. The aroma is filled with baking spices and rum soaked raisins. It enters sweet with a rich round mouthfeel and tons of vanilla. There is a great flavor of toasted oak that elevates the fruit and spice. The finish is sweet, long with a bite of pepper. It is something to savor.
El Tesoro, Reposado Tequila, Single Barrel B051-1272, WW&W Selection, 91.8 proof, 750ml, $54.99
Our First single barrel tequila! Aromas of sweet agave, laced with cinnamon and vanilla, as one might expect from tequila rested for 9 months in a bourbon barrel. The entry taste is surprisingly sweet, with the vanilla flavor enveloping the full-bodied texture. It is complex, yet nicely balanced between the sweet and spicy flavor. The finish is long, beautiful and peppery.
Maker’s Mark Private Selection, WW&W, 1st Mendiant, 112 proof, 750ml, $74.99
This Maker’s Mark Private Selection was one of the first, if not the first outside the distillery to utilize the new Roasted French Mendiant stave. This new stave replaced the Mocha stave and it is different as it adds more of a spicy chocolate element to the whisky. We found that it played nicely with the P2 and Cu staves to yield a bourbon with a great red fruit, almost pie crust aroma. It was big, sweet upon entry, the mouthfeel was rich and viscous with a long, spicy, almost peppery finish. And with a drop of water, the flavors explode. This is a Yummy, first effort.
WhistlePig, Single Barrel Rye #120021, WW&W Selection, 10yr, 116.9 proof, 750ml, $91.99
One of our favorite things about finding a great barrel of WhistlePig is you know it as soon as you nose it. This is full of red fruit, toasted oak and spicy. The entry is sweet & creamy that blossoms into a full-flavored vanilla, spicy, complex satisfying glass of whiskey. The finish is memorable, slightly tannic and peppery, yet yummy!
Bulleit, Bourbon, Single Barrel # 1-B3-0595, WW&W Selection, 750ml, $59.99
This is their high rye, 36%, mashbill from Bulleit. The aroma is complex with layers of brown sugar and cinnamon with an apricot undertone. It was sweet and spicy on entry, yielding to an oily rich mouthfeel. The finish was warm, spicy and long lasting. Yummy!
Peerless, Single Barrel, Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey, WWW Selection, 109.9 proof, 750ml $96.99
Toffee and brown sugar dominate the aromas on this lovely rye. It is sweet at first, then the spicy, toasted flavors start to develop. It is a complex whiskey that lingers long and spicy with a hint of pepper.
Redemption, High Rye Bourbon, WW&W Single Barrel Select #20-005, 105 proof, 750ml, $42.99
At 36% rye, this selection is truly a High Rye Bourbon. It is non-chill filtered. We tasted it proofed down to its final 105 proof. It took a bit for the aromas to show its fruit, hints of apricot laced with toasted barrel. The taste was creamy, fruit, viscous, oily with loads of spice, toast and it finishes very nice, balanced and warm.
Pinhook Tiz Rye Time, WW&W Single Barrel, $63.99
Put into the barrel on September 15, 2015. This 4yr old plus rye has a grainy, rye aroma, lean and spicy. Frankly, it was YUMMY on entry with a nice balance. The finish was lovely and long.